By Peter Egwuatu
THE Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, yesterday, disclosed that it has set up a committee to tackle the issue of identity theft in the capital market.
The Acting Director General, Mary Uduk, who revealed this in a televised interview in Abuja, however, urged shareholders to monitor their investments in the capital market, while assuring that the apex regulator will live up to its responsibilities on investor protection.
She said the Commission has put in place a number of initiatives to protect investors and boost confidence in the stock market. Some of the initiatives, according to her, include the e-Dividend Mandate Management System, Direct Cash Settlement, setting up of a committee on identity management in the Nigerian capital market, regularization of multiple subscriptions, complaints management framework, among others.
She stated: “Shareholders have to be able to monitor their investments, attend Annual General Meetings, AGMs as well as read the annual reports sent out to them. On our part, SEC will protect them through the National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF), Risk Based supervision that enables us to supervise the operators to ensure that they do not do what they are not supposed to do. And again the Complaints Management Framework enables investors to know where to complain to and how long it takes for such complaints to be resolved.
“We advise investors to get their financial advisers to advise them properly on where to invest. In this area, we advise retail investors to invest in Collective Investment Schemes and Mutual Funds because those are managed independently by professionals and they are diversified thereby reducing risks. We are committed to protecting investors in the work we do.”
Uduk said the commission is working with other major stakeholders in setting up a committee that will look into and proffer solutions to problems around identity management theft in the Nigerian capital market.
“So for instance, to boost the e-dividend mandate and Direct Cash Settlement initiatives, we are engaging NIBSS (Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System) on behalf of the capital market community to facilitate identity validation and account validation in an effort to enhance market processes” she stated.